News / Africa

South Africa Government Counts its Successes as Elections Loom

Supporters of President Jacob Zuma's ruling African National Congress await the start of a march to the headquarters of the opposition Democratic Alliance in Cape Town, South Africa, Feb. 5, 2014.
Supporters of President Jacob Zuma's ruling African National Congress await the start of a march to the headquarters of the opposition Democratic Alliance in Cape Town, South Africa, Feb. 5, 2014.
The 2014 national elections in South Africa, set for May 7, come as the country celebrates the 20th anniversary of democracy, with the black majority African National Congress - ANC at the helm. The ruling party hopes to continue in power by showing what it has achieved in 20 years. 

The 2014 national elections in South Africa promise to be the most contested in a long time.

In the run-up to the vote, protesters, largely from impoverished townships, are accusing the ruling African National Congress (ANC) led government of failing to deliver basic services such as housing, water and electricity.

However, the ANC-led government, which has been in power since overthrowing the apartheid regime in 1994, said it has produced a long list of achievements in its 20 years at the helm.

The party claimed it has built over 3.3 million houses benefiting 16 million South Africans. It said it has also rolled out social grants to millions living in poverty.

Although the rate of unemployment still stands above 25 percent, in a country with a total of 51.8 million people, the ANC government said in the past 20 years employment increased by 3.5 million jobs while the economy has expanded by 83 percent.

On the health front, the government said its fight against HIV and AIDS has been successful, while access to education has also increased for millions.

Ambassador Lindiwe Zulu, International Relations Advisor in the South African Presidency and senior member of the ANC National Executive Committee, said the ANC government’s achievements were envied by many African countries.

“We have a story to tell on what we have done in the past 20 years and I think that people need to judge us on what we have been able to do,” said Zulu.

However, Andile Mgxitama, a Black Consciousness Movement Organizer and now a member of the newly formed Economic Freedom Fighters party, accuseed the ANC government of delivering substandard services and said millions of people were yet to enjoy the fruits of freedom. He argued that corruption and bad policy choices were largely responsible for the country’s failures.

South Africa President Jacob Zuma himself had hundreds of corruption charges against him dropped and is currently engulfed in a storm over use of state funds in building his private home.

“The ANC, which is the leading party in power, bought themselves into whiteness and joined the privileged section of the society which is white, and abandoned the black majority, increasingly undermining the public sphere because you have been able to buy yourself out of it,” said Mgxitama.

On the contrary, Dr Siphamandla Zondi, Director at the Institute for Global Dialogue, a political research institute, argued that it was being unrealistic to think that the extent of damage caused by the colonial system in South Africa could be repaired in 20 years.

“It was almost 400 years of distortion that could never have been, even with the best of leadership, you would never achieve, not in 20 years,” said Zondi.

Political analysts said the ruling ANC would win the elections this year, but not without a stiff challenge from the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters party, formed by the expelled ANC Youth League President Julius Malema.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
February 08, 2014 5:05 AM
This happen everywhere to make election compelity, nevertheles just keep on doing what you think will pleased the majority and promote peace and development to keep Africa a peaceful state. One love Mr. President.

by: Kayode. Adekunle. Oladeji from: Ibadan, Nigeria
February 07, 2014 10:29 AM
Yes, all Elections should be keenly contested but i think ANC will still win come May 2014.

by: Loophole from: Johannesburg
February 07, 2014 10:23 AM
No context in this peice. No reference whatsoever to the corruption engulfing the state organs or the collapse of education, healthcare and the police service. No comment from any opposition-aligned commentators. Mgxitama is on the extreme fringe for instance, taking his ideology from Black Consciousness whose party, the PAC, now gets less than one percent of the vote. The whole mass middle class, of all races, and their issues with a failing state ignored. Perhaps your writer ignored them because they are white, mixed race, and Asian as well as black, and not black only. Propaganda by omittance.


by: Disenchanted SouthAfrican from: Expat
February 07, 2014 9:58 AM
Only a fool and the misinformed would believe anything the ANC say. They are rife with corruption, lack of service delivery, and have no control over one of the worst violent crime rates in the world. There are frequent attacks on foreign businesses and xenophobia is rampant, the aged are murdered in their homes, a life is not even valued at the price of a mobile phone, reverse racism is passed into law. Two wrongs do not a right make, stop blaming apartheid, its over 20 years down the road, and the problems are from current bad governance, not from the past.
In Response

by: Residing South African from: Cape Town
February 07, 2014 2:38 PM
I didn' run away, still in South Africa, however, I agree, whoever believe anything about the ANC is mad. It is the anc that put this once awesome country on the road of destruction. Our economy tumbled, joblessness increased to such an extend that it is totally unmanageable. Fraud and corruption is on the order of the day, example, zuma's Nkandla, $20.5mil stolen from the taxpayers. Cheating with matrix results leaving the impression that they did good. The president got 783 charges of fraud against his name. Do you want to read more?

This country need a proper, honest and clean government, like the DA, Democratic Alliance. The rule in the Western Cape, with great success, and the anc hate it, because they only want to steal end destroy. Good example of the deterioration, South Africa was for many years the strongest economy and military force on the African continent. Now we haven't even got a defence force, 70% of the people in the "army" is NOT fit as soldiers. No equipment is in a working order, the blacks smashes training aircraft, the navy is non existant, 2 very expensive subs stand unused because of a lack of skills to operate it and one is damaged. The entire state department is broke, the pensionfund of the state is broke. But South Africa is "booming" What a lot of bullshit

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More